When the skies are constantly grey and the sun is setting earlier, and earlier, it is hard to get out of bed.
Since getting into food photography, where natural light is crucial, I’ve realised that I really require lots of natural light to thrive. It’s probably partially because of vitamin D production (apparently vitamin D deficiency is actually so much of an epidemic in the UK, we’ve started adding it to our bread). This summer, it became especially apparent how much sunlight affects me; I found that leaving the curtains open was a surefire way to awaken me at 6 am with no chance of falling asleep again. It was weird because I’ve always been a night-owl / committed lover of lie-ins.
See, now that it’s November and I’m living in ‘The North’ it’s once again a challenge to get my booty out of bed and into lectures. This is why the weekends are so great. I can get up at 10, make a leisurely breakfast of baked oatmeal, and then sit in bed eating it and watching damages.
As I don’t really eat pears at other times of year, I bought a punnet to use in this variation of baked oatmeal. When thinking this up, I was going to just go with just chopped hazelnuts and dates at first. Then I realised it would be foolish to not get some dark chocolate in there too. If I was pushing this even more into dessert-central, I’d probably add a blob of nutella as well 😉
Pinhead oats are my obvious obsession at the moment. I’d only baked porridge containing old-fashioned oats before but I figured that doing the same to pinhead oats would be just as good. The only slight annoyance is that you need to soak the grains the night before so they take less time to bake but this pre-planning does kind of speed up prep in the morning.
– ensure the chocolate is vegan, if required
– ensure the oats are certified gluten-free, if required
- ¼ cup (45g) pinhead oats
- 2 tbsp quinoa (or another 2tbsp/22g of pinhead oats)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup (250ml) water
- a pinch of salt
- a large pinch of coconut sugar or 1 pitted, mashed date
- a few pieces of dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
- 55 grams of hazelnuts, chopped
- Soak the oats, quinoa and chia seeds in water overnight in a jug.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Stir the salt and sugar (or mashed date) into the oats and pour into a small, greased skillet or baking tin. Decorate with the chopped chocolate, sliced pear and chopped hazelnuts.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed, the surface looks dry and the oats are cooked.
- Eat warm!